The Alekhine Defence

1.e2-e4 Ng8-f6

The basic position for the Alekhune Defence, named after the 4th chess world champion Alexander Alekhine. Black develops his knight to f6 and voluntarily concedes the initiative to White in order to later attack the white pawns in the centre

Ausgangsstellung Aljechin

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Alekhine Defence - Modern Variation: 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4

1. e2-e4 Ng8-f6 2. e4-e5 This is the logical reaction to Black’s provocative move. White pushes the pawn forward with tempo since it is attacking the knight on f6. 2...Nf6-d5 Of course Black should not move the knight back to its starting square, but place it in the centre. 3. d2-d4 White occupies the centre with a second pawn. 3...d7-d6 Black attacks the white centre. 4. Ng1-f3 White develops the knight and also protects the pawn on e5. That is the basic position for the Modern Variation. Black has several options. He can develop his light-squared bishop to g4, take the e5-pawn or prepare to fianchetto his dark-squared bishop to g7 with …g7-g6. White quickly brings his light-squared bishop into play and castles short. If Black takes on e5 he should recapture with the knight.

Alekhine Defence - Exchange Variation: 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6

1. e2-e4 Ng8-f6 2. e4-e5 Nf6-d5 3. d2-d4 d7-d6 4. c2-c4 This move is logical since White adds, with tempo, another pawn to his extended centre and at the same time drives away the black knight. 4...Nd5-b6 Black moves his knight to safety. 5. exd6 After this we have the basic position of the Exchange Variation. White exchanges pawn on d6 and hopes thereafter to be able to exploit his space advantage in the centre. Black can recapture either with the e-pawn or with the c-pawn.

Alekhine Defence - Four Pawns Attack: 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4

This is an aggressive setup against the Alekhine Defence. White adds another pawn to his extended centre and protects the pawn on e5. Black should now exchange on e5 and then attack White’s centre with …Nb8-c6. White should recapture on e5 with the f-pawn and then support his centre with moves like Bc1-e3 and the knights.

Alekhine Defence - Larsen Variation: 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 Nd7

In two moves the knight has reached an attractive square. If Black now challenges it with 5... Nd7 a mad sacrifice can be played: 5.Nxf7!!? White has at least perpetual check.